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10th Dec 2022

Man buys flat on cruise ship because it’s cheaper than home and he can travel the world

Steve Hopkins

An idea worth floating with the boss

With housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, not to mention the cost of living crisis, one man has found a pretty novel solution – and he can see the world at the same time.

Austin Wells bought an apartment on a cruise ship, and he insists it’s cheaper than the cost of an apartment in his home town of San Diego.

The 28-year-old told CNBC he spent $300,000 (£246,465) on a 12-year lease studio apartment onboard the MV Narrative and plans to work remotely – and travel the world – for at least three years.

The lease comes complete with medical services, a farmer’s market, private kitchens and an exercise centre, along with 24-hour room service, a co-working space and spa.

He’s yet to set sail though, as the ship is still under construction in Croatia and isn’t due to hit the waters until 2025.

His room on the mega cruise ship is 237 square feet and features a desk, shower room, pantry and foldaway bed. The ship also features 20 restaurants and bars, a school, a library, a bank, a cinema and a swimming pool.

The MV Narrative is made up of more than 500 private rooms and apartments, which will be home to around 1,000 residents who will live on board more or less permanently.

“The thing that most excites me is I don’t have to upend my daily routine, in order to go see the world,” Wells told CNBC by video call.

“I’m going from this model where you want to go somewhere, you pack a bag, you get on a flight, you rent a room, to now my condo, my gym, my doctors and dentists, all of my grocery stores travel the world with me,” he added.

“My working hours will be shifted towards evenings, nights and very early mornings, but that does open up the ability for me to see a city midday to afternoon.”

Wells suggested “this is probably the first time ever” that the opportunity has existed for people to hold down a standard job and consider living on a “floating apartment complex.”

According to The Sun, a flat in San Diego costs around $2,500 (£2,053.88) per month while Wells’ room on the MV Narrative will set him back about $2,000 (£1,643.10) per month, so he’s instantly save around $500 (£410.77) on rent alone.

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